Birth of a Movement: The Battle Against America’s First Blockbuster

About the Show

DW Griffith's masterpiece, 'The Birth of a Nation', is credited with transforming Hollywood and pioneering many of the techniques that have made the feature film one of America’s most celebrated and widely exported cultural creations. The film was also flagrantly racist and glorified the Ku Klux Klan as its central protagonist. But what is neither famous nor infamous is the way America reacted to this revolutionary film. While 'The Birth of a Nation' was a box office smash that became the first motion picture ever to be screened at the White House, it proved divisive in a country still struggling in the aftermath of Civil War Reconstruction and galvanised leaders of the national African American community into adopting a more aggressive approach in their fight for equality.